The Ed Show for Tuesday, January 6th 2015
Read the transcript to the Tuesday show
Show: THE ED SHOW
Date: January 6, 2015
Guest: Sheldon Whitehouse, Tiernan Sittenfeld, Bernie Sanders, Brad
Woodhouse, Gordon Johnson, Corey Hebert, Wendell Potter
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Americans and welcome to the Ed Show
live from New York.
We start tonight with very important breaking news. President Obama will
veto the Keystone XL pipeline. If you voted for this President and you
care about climate change, you have to be proud tonight. We still have a
lot of power, the progressives do. The President has just cemented his
legacy as one of the most pro-environmental presidents in American history.
We hope so.
Starting last February, we started talking about the Keystone XL pipeline
and we went to the middle of the country to get the real story. We have
followed this project nearly every step of the way for almost a year. And
after six years of environmental studies, legislative wrangling and legal
maneuvers, President Obama has taken a stand.
Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the President
would use the veto pen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You and the President been fairly downbeat on the
Keystone pipeline. Republicans are moving ahead with a legislation, have
you taken a fresh look at this?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: Well, not really, I mean the fact
is the -- again this piece of legislation is not altogether different than
legislation that was introduced in the last Congress. And you will recall
that we put out a statement that the administration position indicating
that the President would have vetoed that bill had it pass the previous
Congress. And I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this
Congress, the President wouldn`t sign it either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That`s a confirmation I like. Republicans probably going to
fuming mad over this veto treat. But, it shouldn`t be a treat it should be
the way it`s going to be. They spent Sunday, just a couple of days ago,
all over the airwaves pushing support for this controversial project.
They made clear Keystone will be the first order of business in this new
Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel not real happy with
everything released a statement after that press conference and said this.
"The President threatening to veto the first bipartisan infrastructure bill
of the new Congress must come as a shock to the American people who spoke
loudly in November in favor of bipartisan accomplishments. It`s
interesting to note the President declined to issue a veto treat last month
when a Democratic senator was trying to saver her job over the same exact
Keystone bill. Once again, the President is standing in the way of a
shovel-ready jobs project that will help thousands of Americans find work."
You know, even in the midst of the veto pen, here come the Republicans
trying to convince Americans that 42,000 temporary jobs is just the savior
of the economy but they fail to make a comment on how good things were last
month when we added over 200,000. Or over the last 57 months where we`ve
added private sector jobs and replaced every job since the great recession.
Picking and choosing big time.
Well the House is expected to vote on the Keystone this Friday. The Senate
Energy and Natural Resources Committee was expected to hold hearings
tomorrow on the pipeline, well of course they`ve been canceled. And that`s
good, go do something else. A final vote is expected in the Senate next
week. Today President Obama said quit wasting your time Congress. I think
President Obama is getting out (ph) the boxing gloves and he heads into the
forth quarter of this presidency, he`s not holding back.
The President has power and he has been talking about jobs and
infrastructure for a long time and now he`s going to push the Republicans
to a point, hey maybe you better do something about it. This is what he
said about the pipeline back December.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It`s very good for Canadian
oil companies and it`s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it`s not
going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers. It`s not even going to be a
nominal benefit to U.S. consumers.
Now, the construction of the pipeline itself will create probably a couple
thousand jobs. Those are temporary jobs until the construction actually
happens. There`s probably some additional jobs that can be created in the
refining process down in the Gulf.
But I`ve just tried to give this perspective, because I think that there `s
been this tendency to really hype this thing as some magic formula to what
ails the U.S. economy, and it`s hard to see on paper where exactly they`re
getting that information from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: It is really hard to see on paper where they`re getting their
bullet points and why in the world are the Republicans sticking to it like
flypaper? What`s happening here is that the President of the United States
is taking a stand on climate change. He goes over to China, does a deal on
emissions, the Republicans don`t like that. Well, they`re not going to
like this either.
But we find our selves now in a very interesting bargaining position. And
just for a refresher course on this, there is already a Keystone 1 pipeline
that goes down there. And guess what? It leaks. Here is the proposed
pipeline that will come through South Dakota that is not permitted properly
yet, that is not properly permitted in the State of Nebraska either because
they`re going through imminent domain issues and the state supreme court is
about ready to render judgment on that.
So the President, ahead of the permitting process is saying, if you bring
me this turd and put it on my desk, I`m not going to sign it. So what`s
happening here is that this is not a major jobs project but that`s how the
Republicans are selling it. So there`s some interesting opportunities here
on both sides. How many times have we covered on this program and talked
to politicians, elected officials about infrastructure in America?
Every show has done it. Well, I remember President Obama not long ago in
Ohio, with a bridge behind him in John Boehner`s district, in Cincinnati in
fact. Talking about bridges in this country and how they have to be fixed
and retrofitted and refitted and redone and rebuilt. And this bridge
actually goes over to Kentucky. So isn`t it ironic that this affects
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, it also affects House Speaker John
Boehner who is reelected today.
The President`s already been in your backyard and said, if you want to do
somethings on infrastructure let`s do it. So the questions is, is the
President really making a statement on climate change or is he setting
Keystone XL pipeline up to be a negotiating tool to say, show me some game
Republicans. Don`t give this bill that`s going to do 42,000 jobs, give me
something that`s going to do at least 200,000 in the first month like we
did last month.
Give me something that`s going to do maybe 5 million jobs over the next
year to two years, the way we have done since the recovery and most of you
guys didn`t -- well, only three of you supported the stimulus package to
start with. Oh by the way, just to throw this in, they didn`t like the
automobile loan either, what were the numbers through December? Through
the roof, go ask Chrysler.
It seems that this President is correct on a lot things but the deniers are
out and about on the economy, on climate change, on everything. So
Republicans, this is your chance to get the project that you love. This is
your chance to get that oil because I think President Obama might negotiate
on it, I don`t want him to.
I think that this President might be making a statement to the world that
the United States of America recognizes that the science is real, it`s
undeniable and we as a country have to led as a superpower and do something
about climate change, that`s where I think the President is. But the
Republicans should make the play, come to the table with the jobs bill and
let`s make this next session of Congress really interesting.
How big is the Keystone project to the Republicans? We`ll find out. How
big is Keystone to the President of the United States? We`ll find out. I
love it. The President is exactly where we wanted him, in the Oval Office.
Get your cellphones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, are you happy President Obama is sticking it to the Republicans
over the Keystone XL pipeline? Text A for yes, you can text B for no to
67622, you can always go and leave a comment at our blog at ed.msnbc.com.
We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Let me bring in Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Senator, great
to have you with us tonight.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: And you End.
SCHULTZ: How do you view this? Where are we legislatively right now?
This is when the minutiae (ph) starts isn`t it?
WHITEHOUSE: This is where it begins. I don`t know what effect the
President`s veto treat is going to have, I suspect very little because they
had to have seen it coming, although he hadn`t made it quite this clearly
before. They`ve said that there`s going to be an open amendment process
and we look forward to take advantage of that open amendment process. To
do everything we can to highlight the different between where the fossil
fuel funded Republican Party is and where most average Americans now are on
This is kind of a turning point and I hope that we can take full advantage
SCHULTZ: Do you think the President is really connecting this to climate
change? That this could be a benchmark moment in American history, that
this could separate him from other presidents turning the tide and staying
with the science and saying, we have to show the world that we`re serious
about this? Do you think that`s it, or is it about maybe negotiating and
getting a better deal somewhere else legislatively?
WHITEHOUSE: I hope it`s the former and not the latter. The increment of
extra greenhouse gas, extra carbon that the tar sands create is enough to
put the equivalent of nearly 6 million cars on the road for 50 years. It
virtually wipes out the vast majority of the President`s initiative to
increase milage. So, I would doubt that he would want to take an
initiative that he works so hard for that`s been successful and wipeout 70
percent of it with one fell swoop with this pipeline.
The damage from it, if you look at the current social cause to carbon is
about $128 billion in damage. That`s a pretty big hammer over this
country. And if we can turn that around, that`s a big thing to bargain
away. This isn`t just a little pipeline with...
WHITEHOUSE: ... you know, 42,000 jobs and all that good stuff the
Republicans are saying. This is a very big hammer that a very responsible
scientist who at (ph) Grantham (ph) Institute says it`s game over for
climate if we don`t bring it to an end.
SCHULTZ: And what do you think the Republican reaction is going to be? Of
course Mitch McConnel released that statement that I just read a moment
ago, but their legislative response, what will it be?
WHITEHOUSE: Well, I think that they`re in a bit of a bubble. They are
funded by fossil fuel interest so much that I don`t think they really see
beyond the fossil fuel funding that surrounds them. So, I think that
they`re going to be a little bit surprised by the discrepancy between where
they think they are and where the American public already is on climate
So, I think they`ll go ahead with it, I think they got a point that they
want to prove here. But why on earth this new Republican Congress would
want to introduce itself for the first time to the American people...
WHITEHOUSE: ... by doing something that`s blindly serves the interest of
the fossil fuel industry and has -- I mean 42,000 jobs, OK, temporary,
great. They killed Shaheen-Portman, the clean energy bill which had
WHITEHOUSE: So, this isn`t about the jobs and everybody can see that,
that`s pretty transparent.
SCHULTZ: Senator, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate you
being the only Senator who did the real homework and went to Nebraska to
talk to the folks on the ground and get the story about what it means to
run a pipeline over our aquifer, why should we take that risk? And, oh by
the way, every pipeline leaks. Why we would want to do that, I don`t know,
the President making a big statement today.
Thank you Senator, I appreciate your time.
WHITEHOUSE: Thank you Ed.
SCHULTZ: Now let me bring Tiernan Sittenfeld who is the -- with the League
of Conservation Voters. You should be smiling tonight. I think this is a
big victory. This is the most -- this is the strongest statement that the
White House and the President has made to this point. All right...
TIERNAN SITTENFELD, LEAGUE OF CONSERVATION VOTERS: Yes.
SCHULTZ: ... let`s go ahead -- let`s fly ahead of the aircraft a little
bit. Let`s say that the Republicans put it out there, it gets vetoed and
then it`s over, what does this mean for 2016?
SITTENFELD: Well, so we`re very -- as you said, I am smiling. We are
thrilled that the Obama administration has made clear that they would veto
this bill. We had been confident that they would veto it but it`s great to
have it, explicitly out there. In terms of going forward, we`re still very
confident that President Obama is going to -- not just veto the bill but
reject the pipeline permit, obviously the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as
you have pointed out.
So powerfully is a dirty and dangerous pipeline that should never be built.
We`re confident that it won`t be. We think that as we look at 2016, we`re
going to be faced with Presidential candidates who really have a choice,
are they going to stand with polluters or are they going to stand for a
clean energy future? We have so much potential in this country to really
And to keep building on the progress that President Obama has made, and we
very much hope to see all the presidential candidates running in 2016
really speak to the importance of energy efficiency, of renewable energy,
of combatting the climate crisis once an for all.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well now that the President has taken this position, no
matter what happens, how can the next Democratic candidate whoever that
might be reverse what the President has said? And, I mean is there going
to be a Democratic candidate that`s going to be able to garnish all of the
sport of all the facets of the left and reverse the decision that the
President has made in Keystone?
I mean, it really puts the next candidate in an untenable position when it
comes to this doesn`t it?
SITTENFELD: Yes, it`s really hard to imagine when we`re seeing such
leadership from President Obama and others throughout his administration
and his fantastic staff working so hard to combat the climate crisis
whether increasing fuel efficiency for cars like Senator Whitehouse talked
about or cutting carbon pollution from coal burning power plants.
Forging a really powerful and important deal with China to cut carbon
SCHULTZ: But for Keystone in 2016...
SCHULTZ: ... all those things you`re saying are important, this now ups
the ante for however wants...
SCHULTZ: ... the nomination for the Democrats.
SITTENFELD: No question. It`s hard to imagine that anyone would want to
reverse the incredible progress both what I was mentioning or...
SITTENFELD: ... or when we ultimately see a rejection of the pipeline. We
absolutely hope that all candidates running will honor that position and
agree with that but it really is important as -- we are at a crossroads
when it comes to our energy and future...
SITTENFELD: ... and dirty tar sands oil would take us...
SCHULTZ: This should unite progressives. This should show that this is
not a rollover and there`s other things that the President can do as well
and I`m sure he will. Tiernan Sittenfeld, great to have with us tonight.
SITTENFELD: Thanks Ed.
SCHULTZ: Thank you. Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the
bottom of the screen, share you thoughts with us on Twitter @edshow and on
Facebook, like us and do all that stuff, we appreciate it.
Coming up, new questions about Governor Chris Christie`s relationship with
the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones. But first, more breaking news, the
nation`s first high-speed train begins to get on track. This is about
jobs, infrastructure and the future.
Stay with us we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, thanks for watching tonight. Now
this is the definition of let`s get to work. The nation`s first bullet
train starts contraction today in Fresno, California. The high-speed rail
will take travelers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than
three hours. Folks that`s booking (ph).
The 200-mile per hour train is a marvel of both engineering and politics.
Congressional Republicans have vowed not to provide additional money for
the project. The train route goes through House Majority Leader Kevin
McCarthy`s district. He promises to, "Do all that he can to ensure not one
dollar of federal funding goes to boondoggles like high-speed rail".
Speaker Boehner loves to ask, where are the jobs? Well the answer is
projects like these in California, like the bullet train we`re talking
about. Senator Bernie Sanders wants to put 13 million Americans to work
with decent paying jobs, the key infrastructure projects like the high-
speed rail and repairing crumbling infrastructure are where the jobs are.
How will Republicans react?
Joining me tonight, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Senator good to have
you with tonight. Why are Republicans opposing infrastructure,
modernization projects like high-speed rail. This is cost-effective, it`s
environmentally safe, it`s travel safe, it`s winners all the across the
board and it creates jobs. Why can`t they get on board?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT: Hey Ed, I wish I knew the answer to
that. That sounds pretty crazy to me. Everybody in this country
apparently except Republican members of Congress understands that our
infrastructure that once was the -- led the world was once the pride of the
world is now crumbling.
We have 600,000 bridges in disrepair. In every state of this country there
are people in cars going over path holes. Clearly, we need a major effort
to rebuild this crumbling infrastructure. I`m going to introduce
legislation to do that. And part of infrastructure repair is creating a
strong rail system that begins to catch up with Europe, Japan and even
So, high-speed rail is part of the overall effort that we need to make in
rebuilding our infrastructure.
And Ed I will tell you this, that if we invest a trillion dollars in
infrastructure and the American Society of Civil Engineers tell us we need
to invest $3 trillion, but $1 trillion will create 13 million decent paying
jobs and maintain other jobs as well, 13 million jobs.
SCHULTZ: Senator, how restrictive do you think that the Republican
leadership is going to be in this session of Congress? You`re going to
come up with a bill that is going to deal with infrastructure. Do you
think Republicans are going to be ordered not to get onboard with stuff
like this? Do you think...
SANDERS: Well, they`re going...
SCHULTZ: ... what do you think?
SANDERS: They`re going to have a problem Ed, because you got Republicans
all over this country whose constituents are telling them we need to
rebuild our infrastructure. Now, here`s some good news, the chairman of
the Environmental and Public Works Committee here in the Senate will be Jim
Inhofe, one of the most conservative members of the Senate.
When you talk to Senator Inhofe he understands that we need to rebuild our
roads and our bridges. So, I think there are Republicans who understand
that and I look forward to working with them.
SCHULTZ: And you think it will put 13 million people to work?
SANDERS: It will maintain and create 13 million jobs. That`s a trillion
SCHULTZ: I want to switch to the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You
have recently written a letter to Ambassador Froman demanding a copy of the
full text of the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement.
How dangerous is this secrecy about the TPP as you see it? You say that in
your letter to the trade representative that members of Congress haven`t
seen it but corporations have. And we seem to be in the 11th hour of fast
track. What about it?
SANDERS: I`m just hearing a buzz.
SCHULTZ: OK. Apparently, Senator Sanders is having a hard time hearing
us. We had some kind of technical difficulty on that. I want to commend
the Senator there. He wrote a letter to the Obama Administration saying
that there are members of Congress who have not seen the full text, the
full draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Yet they keep telling the
American people that this is what we have to have for jobs.
It`s been written by corporations. It`s been written by people on Wall
Street. They know what it`s all about but there are elected officials who
don`t. The lack of transparency has been unbelievable. We`ll see where
that request goes.
Coming up, new questions about Chris Christie`s business dailies (ph) with
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. But first, disgraced former Virginia Governor
Bob McDonnell learns his fate.
Keep it here. We`ll be back on the Ed Show.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Today was judgment day for a man
once considered to be a Republican contender for the White House.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been sentenced to two years in
prison and two years provision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB MCDONNELL, (R) FMR. VA GOVERNOR: Some of the judgment that I have made
during the course of my governorship have hurt myself, my family and my
beloved people of Virginia and for that I am deeply, deeply sorry. But I
would also say to the great people of Virginia that I have never ever
betrayed my sacred oath of office in any way while I served as the governor
of this great commonwealth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: McDonnell and now his estranged wife Maureen were found guilty in
September of more than 10 counts of corruption. The couple accepted money,
expensive gifts and vacations from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of Star
Scientific in exchange for government favors.
The gifts included a Rolex watch, a shopping trip to New York City, wedding
catering for the McDonnell`s daughter and several golf outings for the
couple`s sons on a private jet. Maureen McDonnell will be sentenced
separately on February 28th.
Stick around, Chris Christie still in the news with his Cowboy Jersey on.
Rapid Response Panel is next.
JOSH LIPTON, CNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`m Josh Lipton with your CNBC market
The market declined for a fifth straight session. The Dow fell 130 points.
The S&P dropped 18. The NASDAQ lost 60.
Crude prices also continued sliding falling another 4.2 percent to close at
$47.93 a barrel. That is the lowest level since April of 2009.
And Sony Corporation Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai says he does not expect
the cyber attack on Sony pictures to cause "material of evil" on the
That`s it from CNBC first in business worldwide.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
has received lots of attention in recent weeks for being a Dallas Cowboy
fan. There`s nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with a governor
rotting for his childhood team.
I live in Minnesota, I love Green Bay Packers. I like it when they win.
However, something Christie may have crossed the line with recent gifts
from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
WNBC`s Chris Glorioso has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS GLORIOSO, WNBC CORRESPONDENT: Easily looked over in the skybox
celebration between Governor Christie and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a
simply question. Who paid for Christie to have the best seat in the house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should be rooting for the Giants or the Jets but not
the Cowboys, I hate the Cowboys.
GLORIOSO: Football allegiance aside, New Jersey citizens might like to
know their governor`s trip to a billionaire suite including ticket and
transportation was paid for by the billionaire himself Jerry Jones.
Christie`s spokesman stressed, the trip was at no expense to New Jersey
Taxpayers but it does raise ethics questions. According to New Jersey`s
Uniform Ethics Code, there is a zero tolerance policy for state officials
accepting gift but Christie`s office justified this gift citing another
code the governor`s code of conduct.
It says gifts are OK if they come from relatives or personal friends.
Rutgers Politics Professor John Weingart says ethics experts have long
struggled to define friendship.
JOHN WEINGART, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Some decisions have been made by the
state ethics commission in New Jersey about friendship is basically that it
should -- has to be reciprocal, that it`s fine if a friend takes you out to
dinner and you have a receipt from that as long as you take the friend out
for dinner at some point and -- to roughly equal dinners.
GLORIOSO: If Governor Christie does thank Jerry Jones with an expensive
dinner on his tab, one thing`s for sure, Jets and Giants fans will not
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie rotting for the Dallas Cowboys, no
that`s not good. He`s a Jersey guy how could he root for the Dallas
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said today that the governor brings
The story goes deeper than just gifts. The Wall Street Journal reports the
Dallas Cowboys are part owners of the Legends Hospitality. They report
Jerry Jones` family is a significant business owner in the company.
Legends Hospitality will be the operator of the new One World Trade Center
observatory owned by the Port Authority.
Governor Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo jointly controlled the
Port Authority. The Port Authority said Legends was selected after a
public procurement process in 2013. A Legends board member told the Wall
Street Journal, the bidding process was fair and did not involve personal
He said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was not involved. Meanwhile no matter
how you look at this its bad news for Governor Christie who has been under
heavy criticism over Bridgegate, the George Washington Bridge Scandal has
spurred calls for reform in the Port Authority.
Governor Christie and Governor Cuomo recently vetoed a legislative overhaul
of the authority. Instead they pushed for a set of changes written by a
panel they appointed. One of the proposals could end overnight PATH train
service for New York and New Jersey.
Now, this move would leave working class people with no way to get home
after work in the late hours. Bartenders, waitresses, doorman,
construction workers and other night shift workers would be in a pretty
tough spot when it comes to transportation. They`re cost would go up.
New Jersey Mayor Steven Fulop told the New York Times, if either governor
actually rode the train during these hours, they never would have
considered this. It`s easy for Christie to push for reforms like this
while he`s flying on a private jet to go see the Dallas Cowboys.
Christie`s office has justified gifts from Jones by citing New Jersey`s
Executive Order 77.
It says the governor may accept gifts, favor services, gratuities, meals,
lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid
for with personal funds.
Well Jerry Jones got plenty of money, no doubt about that. The Governor`s
office did not mention Christie updated the code back in 2010. Christie
himself signed an Executive Order 24 that says all public officials must
avoid conduct that violates the public trust or creates an appearance of
We reached out to Jerry Jones and Governor Christie to come on this program
today, fat chance to that. Governor Christie declined and of course we
have yet to hear back from the Cowboys because they better be getting ready
for the Packers. And they better take their long underwear to Green Bay
because it`s going to be cold.
For more let me bring in Brad Woodhouse, President of the American Bridge
21st Century, also with us tonight New Jersey States Assemblyman Gordon
Mr. Johnson you first, I appreciate both of you gentlemen joining on this
tonight because I think this goes much deeper than being a football fan or
taking a ride on somebody`s jet.
Mr. Johnson, what kind of problems do you see here? Are you troubled by
ASSEMBLYMAN GORDON JOHNSON, (D) NEW JERSEY: I see a conflict here. Ed,
this is not just two guys or two friends getting together, one guy buying
another friend dinner. This is an individual who had gotten a contract
from an authority that the governor controls and then two months later he`s
flying on this guy`s private jet. And not just himself, his family, the
four kids and security force all fly out to Dallas.
They`re all lodging in a hotel. He had to pay for lodging. He had to pay
for the transportation there and the meals and then its just two friends
getting together. I`m mot buying that. This doesn`t make sense to me at
SCHULTZ: Are you calling for it to stop? There`s a game this weekend.
And it`s on the road in Green Bay.
JOHNSON: I`m calling for -- I`m going to call for an investigation. I`m
going to ask Assemblyman Wisniewski, the Chair of the Investigating
Committee to expand the investigation they are on now to include this
SCHULTZ: Brad Woodhouse, I was reading in the American Bridge 21st Century
your play book for the upcoming election. And in it you`ve got a section
in there about travel issues with Chris Christie. This isn`t the first
time he`s had some issues, is it?
BRAD WOODHOUSE, AMERICAN BRIDGE 21ST CENTURY: No, not at all. I mean one
of the things that we`re really trying to get to the bottom of is about
Chris Christie and his travel outside of the State of New Jersey and who
pays for it. We know one thing, is that he was gone a ton from the State
of New Jersey as RGA chair. I think he was gone about a third of the time.
But the issue here Ed, and another organization not involved with has
already filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission calling for an
investigation because what you`re seeing here with the taking gifts from
Jerry Jones, taking gifts from the Cowboys, while also Jerry Jones and the
Cowboys doing business with the State of New Jersey is not a far cry from
what the type of activity that Bob McDonnell what`s in it`s for, in New
It`s not a far cry from what we saw with Abber Moth (ph) and Bob Ney and
Tom Delay. That was all about favors and tickets and golf outings and
plane rides, and I think Chris Christie really crossed the line here. And
we`re calling for an investigation to get to the bottom of it.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Johnson is the investigation, should it go into the deal for
the Observatory to find out the devil in the details on all that, how all
of that unfolded?
JOHNSON: I think we need full disclosure on everything. We should bring
in the Governor, Mr. Jerry Jones, Legends, and also the Port Authority of
New York, New Jersey. And, we want to know how this contract was let --
what was the process they used to select Legends. And the whole thing, the
whole comprehensive package to be investigated.
SCHULTZ: Is it possible gentlemen that, the Governor of New Jersey has
just gotten a wrapped up in the moment and he`s kind of regular guy and
said, you know, jumping on somebody`s jet and going to an NFL game is
pretty cool. Hey I am the governor, I guess he wants me down there, Brad
what about that?
WOODHOUSE: Well look, I don`t think -- look, all of power to it, I mean
everyone would like to sit in the owner`s box in an NFL game. But, the
question here is, whether or not he violated either ethics or criminal law.
And I just say a political question Ed, is I get it and I`m with you. I
don`t think that anyone should judge public officials on what their rooting
interest are, or candidates for office.
But Chris Christie takes it a step further, I mean he criticized, his
Eagles fans, he really gets in the face of people who find it
displeasurable that he is rooting for the Cowboys. I don`t think he`s
acting Ed either on the ethics front or on the -- you know, just smart
WOODHOUSE: ... like someone who really wants to run for president.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Johnson, I`d be curious to know if Jerry Jones and Chris
Christie ever knew each other before the bidding took place for the
JOHNSON: Yeah, that`s a very good question. That they become close
friends after this contract was determined so -- or decided, so that`s a
very good question. And we need, like I said before we need disclosure.
We want to find out why this contract, why Legends got this contract, and
then, two months later, the Governor is flying on a private jet with his
family and security force to Dallas.
And, you know, and the lodging cost and the meals and the transportation
from the hotel. I`d like to know how much all these came to.
SCHULTZ: Well, it`s quite a bit.
JOHNSON: I guess it would be.
SCHULTZ: A private jet from New York to Dallas and back about 10 grand. I
mean, I just think that, you know, I understand people getting wrapped up
for the moment, I get all that. But, if there`s a deal here, there`s a
real problem, OK? And the governor doesn`t seem to have a problem with it
I mean heck the cameras on him, right in an NFL game, he`s hugging
everybody, he`s right in the middle of all of these, he`s right in there
with the family, are they that close of friends?
JOHNSON: There`s a perception here of unethical behavior, all right? And
the public needs to know -- this needs to be cleared up and they go (ph)
and needs to clear this up along with the Port Authority and Mr. Jerry
Jones with Legends.
WOODHOUSE: Ed, I don`t think that the personal friendship with Jerry Jones
passes the lab test. I mean there`s no history that they were personal
friends or friends of any kind...
WOODHOUSE: ... before Christie became Governor, and of course, a governor
all of the sudden requires all types of people who would like to be called
friends. But that does it make it...
WOODHOUSE: ... that does it make it, so...
SCHULTZ: Isn`t there one person that could shed some light on this and
that would be the governor of the New York. He would know whether the
bidding process and the bidding process on the contract that went to the
observatory, was on the up and up, and I would think that he would have a
comment on Jerry Jones and Chris Christie and the travel to and from those
games. It would seem to me that he would be willing to weight in on that,
it might clear up some things.
Brad Woodhouse, a New Jersey state assemblyman, Gordon Johnson, appreciate
your time tonight.
JOHNSON: Thank you Ed.
WOODHOUSE: Thanks for having me.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, Democrats, bending on moves to defund Obamacare, you
heard it right here.
SCHULTZ: Tonight, a two minute drill, the class 2015, baseball writers
have voted four players on Cooperstown this year. It`s the largest group
voted onto the hall since 1955. It`s also the first time three pitchers
have been selected in the same year. Randy Johnson had a denial (ph), was
almost unanimous selection, appearing on 97 percent of the ballots this
year, the five-time Cy Young Award winner led the league in strikeouts nine
times during his 21-year career. In 2004, at the age of 40, "The Big Unit"
became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game.
Pedro Martinez, made it on 91 percent of the ballots, the former member of
the Expos and the Red Sox was an eight-time all-star, a three-time Cy Young
Award winner, he struck at over 3,100 in his career and led the league in
ERA five times. John Smoltz of the Braves was picked by almost 83 percent
of the voters to join his former Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom
Glavine on the hall. Smoltz is the only major league pitcher to logged
200 wins and 150 saves in his career.
Rounding out this year`s class is Astros infielder Craig Biggio. This was
Biggio`s third year on the ballot, he fell just two votes shy of the
selection last year, he`s been his entire career with Houston Astros
racking over 3,000 hits, four gold gloves and making seven all-star
They will be inducted in the Cooperstown on July 26th, stay tuned, we got a
lot more coming up on the Ed show right after this.
SCHULTZ: And finally tonight repeal happy Republicans are not the only
ones working to unravel Obamacare. This week some Democrats are sounding
more like this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be a vote on repeal. We will get in his
desk for signature bipartisan support eliminating the tax on medical
CHUCK TODD, NBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The employer mandate, the 40 hour work week. We have
bipartisan support for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The medical device tax has been in effect since January 1st of
2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act. Now this revenue folks is one of
the financial pillars of this law. This is how we`re paying for it in a
big way, getting rid of the tax would blow a $30 billion hole in
Obamacare`s finances over the next 10 years. Some Democrats with medical
device manufacturers in their state are siding with Republicans. Senator
Amy Klobuchar told NBC`s Chuck Todd why she wants it repealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D) MINNESOTA: This issue is, you know, what`s not
part of the agreement originally. A major tax was smacked on the medical
device industry. It was in just arbitrarily reduced in half. And so
Senator Hatch and I are leading this effort. There are a lot of Democrats
supporting it including people like Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren. And
the hope is that we will find a way to pay for this and get this tax off.
TODD: But you haven`t figured out how to pay for it yet?
KLOBUCHAR: We are working on that as we speak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: They`re working on it trying to figure out how to pay for it.
How about that? The industry has spent nearly $200 million lobbying
Congress to get rid of this tax. If the medical device tax goes away this
will create a big hole in the funding of Obamacare and how this country is
going to pay for it. But the Republicans chip away, chip away, chip away
all they can to destroy this healthcare bill.
I`m joined tonight by Dr. Corey Hebert, Professor at LSU Health Science
Center. Also with us tonight Wendell Potter author of "Obamacare: What`s
in it for me." Great to have both of you with us tonight.
DR. COREY HEBERT, PROF. LSU HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER: Good to be here.
SCHULTZ: ... you first, we`re talking about a 2.3 percent tax on an
industry that makes billions of dollars. Can this tax be repealed and
WENDELL POTTER, AUTHOR, "OBAMACARE: WHAT`S IN IT FOR ME": Obamacare would
survive but it would be weakened. And, keep in mind that this money goes
to pay -- help to pay for the subsidies that millions and millions of
Americans are now getting to help them afford insurance coverage. So, what
we`re talking about here are companies in my view that are really quite
They are getting new customers. People are finally able to get the care
that they need because of Obamacare. They are able to get medical devices
that they need but these companies don`t want to share a penny of any
revenue. They`re getting billions of dollars in new revenue Ed. And this
would do some significant damage to the law and to the ability of Americans
to be able to afford the coverage.
SCHULTZ: What I find interesting is some Democrats are on records saying
that they`re willing to repeal this tax but they don`t know how they`re
going to raise the revenue to make the law work. This is a big hole in the
funding of it.
Dr. Hebert, who gets taxed? What are we talking about here? What -- every
device in the medical industry?
HEBERT: Well no, let`s be very clear, and as a physician I want everybody
to understand this. It`s actually a 2.3 percent tax but it`s a really --
it`s a 1.4 percent tax because the companies can write off the tax as a
business expense. So let`s talk about that, it`s really 1.4.
So, with that being said, what is a taxed? Everything from tongue
depressors to artificial knees and hips, so that`s everything that`s being
-- is going to be taxed. But the reality is that, we know that these
companies make so much money that they can afford it.
We have to talk about the fact that the billions of dollars that they make.
That they actually are funding their boards of directors, they`re funding
their -- all of their constituents and it`s just not fair.
HEBERT: We know it`s going to punch a real hole in Obamacare so we got to
do something about this and not let it be repealed.
SCHULTZ: Mr. Potter, the industry is saying that this is shipping jobs
oversees. What`s your response to that? They`re saying that this tax is
just making it so hard...
... they have to go ironically to countries that have universal healthcare
to get it done.
POTTER: It`s completely bogus. In fact, Congress` own researchers
determined that. They did some research. They said that this does not
hold any water. In fact, keep in mind, they`re going to sell more stuff.
They`re going to sell more devices. So, I don`t think this is going to be
causing jobs at all.
The Congressional Research Services says that`s not going to happen. They
use -- the industry used the job -- called the job card all the time when
they`re fighting something like this. And, it usually has no merit
whatsoever. In this case I don`t think it does either.
SCHULTZ: So, what industries get hurt here? I mean how -- have they
slowed down production because of this tax? Have they raised prices
because of this tax? Has there just been an upheaval financially in the
medical device industry since Obamacare started in 2013?
This story kind of comes from, all of a sudden a Republican say, "Holy
smokes, we got to get rid of this tax." Where is the outcry been on this
POTTER: Well, I don`t think there has been sufficient outcry because I
think it`s been largely under the radar for most people except those
politicians who are getting pressured by the lobbyist for these companies.
Keep in mind the two biggest medical devices manufactures are Johnson and
Johnson and General Electric, two of the largest corporations in the world
that have enormous revenues.
And you can rest assure that they can well afford this. They will pass
along -- in fact, they probably will not absorb any of this. They will
pass along the cost to consumers which you don`t have to do. It`s just
SCHULTZ: Dr. Hebert, your thoughts on that.
HEBERT: I totally agree. First of all, we know that these large
corporations are not going to lose any jobs and as Mr. Potter correctly
pointed out, the Congressional Research Service did the study and they did
the study in November which is very recent. So no jobs will be lost.
We also have to remember that it will force hospitals and insurance
companies to come up with money that they don`t have trying to get the
insurance that people need in the urban communities, in the rural
communities where people don`t have health care.
So, make no mistake. This is pure greed and the reason why there has been
no outcries because there has nothing out there in the medical industry to
show that people are going to have any problems with this tax, it`s been
there. And so, it`s not going to change anything. People -- the companies
want money and that`s the bottom line.
SCHULTZ: And, where would we make up the revenue in this Mr. Potter?
Would we just cover fewer people?
POTTER: You know that`s a thing. Congress is supposed to come up with a
revenue if they do something like this.
POTTER: But I just don`t think that they`re really serious about this. I
don`t know what would -- I would hope that President would veto it if it
gets through his desk.
SCHULTZ: Great to have both of you gentlemen with us tonight, Dr. Corey
Hebert and Wendell Potter here on the Ed Show.
HEBERT: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate it very much.
That`s the ED Show. I`m Ed Schultz.
PoliticsNation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
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